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 Review of The Night of the Hangman
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  11:31:25  Show Profile
I am intrigued with episodes that reveal tidbits of information about our heroes. We learn in this episode that Artie has hay fever but we also learn that he has been able to keep it from Jim. We don’t have to worry about if this would be a worthy case since the set up is one of civic duty not an assignment. We have a trial and conviction with Artie and Jim bothered by the “open and shut” aspect of the case. Their investigation almost brings disaster to them in the form of a fire that destroys the evidence of the chair that propels people to the attic and the black box that makes train noises.

Arties Reverend is priceless. I don’t know how to spell that brew but it was obvious from the first that not only did it taste awful but it smelled bad too. Artie also does the jewelry peddler very well entrapping Abigail into believing that she has been had. It is always a pleasure to see Henrietta (Don’t stop to talk to any Hawks) as it gives a feel of spies in the west.

Jim has his problems too. The poisonous gas, at least I think it was maybe it would have just knocked him out, (I thought that coughing was hideous) and being tied to a chair that will finish the job started earlier in that livery stable? I thought that it was a hotel. It had hotel on the outside but later in the episode Jim makes a comment that the way he was going to set him on fire was the same way they had set the livery on fire. I am confused.

“I assume the Secret Service has a substantial insurance plan to comfort your loved ones.”
“Double Indemnity if I’m barbequed in the line of duty.”

Artie ends up sharing the fiery chair with Jim. Good thing too. How would Jim have escaped without someone to help untie him? It was convenient that couch was there. I don’t recall it in an earlier scene.

The episode is a good who done it. Giving us clues here and there. Showing us the back of a chair and a cane but not who it is and then a surprise twist to the person who actually pulled the trigger not to mention the clever gun that was used.

The wife threatening Artie and Jim is a little silly but it does allow an audience for Artie’s explanation of why it couldn’t be her husband.

The tag made me smile.
“Why do you have to spoil everything?”
“Artie, I didn’t spoil a thing if you want to see her you can the first Sunday of every month”

Of special note in this episode is Charles Lane (Roger Creed), who was honored on March 16, 2005 at the TVLand Awards for his long career and his 100th birthday. When he received his award, he said in his still-booming voice, "In case anyone's interested, I'm still available!"
January 30th was named "Charles Lane day" by the Screen Actors Guild in 2005.
Out of five smiles.

Desert Roger
SS novice field agent

4348 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  12:04:28  Show Profile  Visit Desert Roger's Homepage
This is a good one. out of five. Kind of a western, but with some Wild Wild West stuff like the catapulting chair and the sound-effects machine. Good humor with Artie at the boarding house. In some ways reminds me of the cornball show Gunsmoke, but is a good episode anyway.
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6498 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  12:38:52  Show Profile
I kind of already gave my review of this one a couple of weeks ago because it was on the same tape as Night of the Firebrand, which I liked. I gave Hangman 10 stars the way I was rating episodes. This one is full of adventure, suspense, and comedy just the way I like um!! Loved the fight scene with Jim knocking out 2 bad guys with 1 punch. He was so cool and suave as he was in most of the 3rd season. It showed how comfortable Robert Conrad was playing the part and proved he was born to be James West. 10 stars all the way!!!
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  15:07:23  Show Profile
Hey all,
Great reviews! TNOT Hangman is one of my favorites in the third season. Yes, its a very western plot, but TNOT Hangman has backstory unlike the previous episode TNOT Cut-Throats, thus it is easily believable that Jim and Artie would stay and solve the case. Remember how Jim and Artie in TNOT Cut-Throats saved the town for no good reason, but here the local Sheriff tries to shoot Lucius Brand before his execution. The case is far too easy an "open and shut one". It gives depth to the duo's characters that they would save an "innocent" man when all evidence points that Brand is guilty. Our boys have a concious and they want to do the right thing. This episode is very Wild though with the ejector seats, black box train mechanism, the toy factory gadgets, the fiery death traps, and the crazy way that Artie's degaratype ala chess board makes sense.

There is a wonderful twist ending that I also won't disclose, howver it is also chess related. Plus, I feel that Abigail Moss was another lovely PYT to add to the shows many lovelies, thus making the tag a funny one that doesn't put down either agent like they did in the past.

I feel that my review is just repeating alot of what couldron has already eloquently stated. Kudos go to Harry Dean Stanton's wonderful portrayal of Lucius Brand. He was shady enough to believe that he was not innocent, thus making the twist even that more delightful. Kudos to Artie and Jim also in fine character. I feel that his wife's actions were justified after all she was pregnant with their first child. Lastly, this episode was rather graphic for its time with the assassination of Amos Rawlins (correct me if I'm wrong but don't you see blood on his hands right before he collapses on the table). I'm surprised the Censors let the show get away with that.

P.S. couldron I think the soup is spelt Burgough.
4 out of 5 stars

Herr Ostropolyer

"Excuse me young women is your mother at home."- Arite buttering up his elderly informant as the priceless Reverend in TNOT Hangman.
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  15:54:52  Show Profile
quote:
P.S. couldron I think the soup is spelt Burgough


Thanks
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Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  21:38:05  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
this ep's a guilty pleasure of mine, no clue why I like it so much, but I do. I love the part leading up to the attic scene and the attic scene itself

amusing quotes:

Mr. Roland: "Sit down, feed your face" (never knew what to make of that, but it always amused me)

West: "What were you saying about an open and shut case?"
*speechless Artie*

West: "I found ya Artie"
Gordon: "Congradulations"
West: "Now where's the rest of ya?"

West: "Don't look now Artie, but I think we're on fire"
Gordon: "Ya know somethin' I think you're right"

Gordon: "Now, I've been examining this thing for over an hour trying to find one thing that didn't show up at the trial
West: "and?"
Gordon: "think I've found a balloon"
West: "uh, a balloon?"

Mrs Peacock: Are you sure you won't like some more of this Burgough?
Gordon: Mrs. Peacock, never before in my entire life have I been more sure of anything! (poor Artie!!)

Gordon: "now whatever you do sweetheart, don't stop to talk to any hawks"

Gordon: "Because he's not guilty, & unless I've become a complete & total idiot I can prove it too. Now put that silly thing away" (I crack up every time he says that complete and total idiot part )

West: "barbecued in the line of duty"

West: "the room catches on fire"
Bad guy: "& James West goes out in a blazing glory"

Gordon: you know that's not a bad arrangement, you know how I'd do it though?
West: Artie, excuse me for cutting in, but we don't have much time
Gordon: Oh I know that, I'm just uh, commenting on the arrangement that's all

Gordon: "of course, the solution to the whole thing was right there all the time"
West: "on a chessboard?"


and of course, Jim 'spoiling' it for Artie,

Mr. Bryant: Um Mr. West, if you don't mind, I'd just as leave you change that slide there, it kinda gives me the wilies
West: my pleasure
Gordon: Whoa! My pleasure! Hey, she's lovely
West: hey, just say the word & I'll arrange an intriduction
Gordon: Consider the word said, what's her name?
West: Jennifer Colton, alias Prudence Mallory. & if you'll lighten the hair just a little, you'll know her as Abigail Moss, wanted in four states
Gordon: Why do you always have to spoil everything?




~Red

*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6498 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  10:03:08  Show Profile
Great quotes fron this episode. Like I said, one of the best of the 3rd season. Still 10 stars from me
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  12:18:37  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
This episode for some reason always reminded me a bit of the Kennedy assasination conspiracy theories: the "magic bullet" trajectory, grassy knoll, etc., using the film footage (Kennedy) and Artie's degeurrotype and such.
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Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  20:48:53  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
why Orrin, I do believe you've ruined it for me!

~Red

*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  15:28:30  Show Profile
Though very western, "The Hangman" sets up a neat whodunit that spends most of its 48 minutes nimbly diverting us from the most likely suspect. This episode also gives us one of the agents' very few "accidental missions": no great threat to national security to thwart—only their need, by happenstance, to prevent a grave and coldly calculated miscarriage of justice.

Though not a thrilling episode, this one contains lots of small, enjoyable touches. Conrad and Martin play their many varnish scenes with easy rapport: by now, each seems as comfortable with the other as an old shoe. Mr. Gordon's scientific proclivities take a fresh turn into criminological analysis (the folderol with the daguerreotypes), A young Harry Dean Stanton delivers a small role with doomed conviction. Anna Capri makes her bow as the latest in a long line of West's dishes. Mrs. Peacock is a subsidiary hoot, as played by the marvelous Jessalyn Fax, a character actor who deserves more recognition than she's received. She played the comic, deaf sculptor in Jimmy Stewart's courtyard in Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954). as well as one of the town biddies who scares Don Knotts spitless in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966: "And they used Bon Ami!") First-time director (and former movie film-cutter) James B. Clark nicely lenses the episode. In the teaser he plays fair with the audience by panning across a cowboy astride his horse (whose signficance we'll appreciate only later), then lets the camera misleadingly follow Roger Creed as he bends down to retreive his cane. In Act IV the intercutting of (1) candle burning rope, (2) agents scurrying to free themeselves, and (3) lantern above, plummeting into West's just waiting hands, is all well done.

Quibbles: Though one could argue they did it casually in those days, the compression of a defendant's trial, verdict, sentencing, and execution all within a single day plays on a hoary dramatic cliché with no legal basis. Too soon, the series is already copying itself: Some of the show's best remembered features—the catapulting chair, skullduggery in a toy store, masks spouting poisonous gasses, carrier pigeons in cases—have all been seen before, often more effectively ("The Brain," "The Whirring Death," "The Feathered Fury," "The Ready-Made Corpse," "The Colonel's Ghost"). For all of Artie's doubletalk about his "two-dimensional [projector] grids," an examination of the victim's fatal wound would, in a real world, have easily redirected suspcions toward his actual murderer.

Most sadly, for me: This was the last of the episodes to give us West in his natty, powder-blue suit, my personal favorite of all his costumes. Why couldn't Jack Muhs have extended its use at least into Act II, with the visits to Brand's rooms and the debriefing afterwards?

On balance: Not great West, but good and entertaining West.

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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6498 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  17:13:24  Show Profile
Lots of good points, but I am not as nit-pickey as you. My rating is far higher but that's my personal opinion.
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  17:32:49  Show Profile
quote:
Quibbles: Though one could argue they did it casually in those days, the compression of a defendant's trial, verdict, sentencing, and execution all within a single day plays on a hoary dramatic cliché with no legal basis


I remember reading a history of Denver where they hung a man because he had a bad character No crime, just didn't like his looks WWW wasn't alone in quick trials. I remember a few on Bonanza as well. I always chalked it up to the limits of an hour show. Similiar to the shows who get dna results in a day.

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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  19:35:48  Show Profile
Dieter Epping: Lots of good points, but I am not as nit-pickey as you.

Here's how picky I am: If Muhs had dressed Conrad in that terrific powder-blue suit for the full episode, just one last time, I might have given this one the full five-star treatment.
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6498 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  20:27:55  Show Profile
I'm OK with that. But I only look at the attitude, personality, suaveness, and power (fighting back) that Robert Conrad always had in the role of James West. He was better than James Bond in all the movies if you ask me (and I do love those too). No matter to me what he was wearing, Jim West was pretty much the ultimate hero of our time. And Ross Martin was the ultimate actor of our generation with all his charactors. Can't get a better show than Wild Wild West, all around---(except for the lame ones without Artie).
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